A sweet fundraiser
The girls at Granny Faye's Bakery have big hearts.
So big, in fact, that they are donating their tips and proceeds from the sales of some of their treats to the family of a little girl who suffers from a rare genetic disorder.
"We love their family," says Granny Faye's Bakery owner Suzie Cox. "It was my girls, Molly and Tiffany, who came up with the idea that we should do something for them."
It all started when a worker from Prineville Body and Paint went next door to the bakery with an empty Tootsie Roll can, jokingly asking if the girls would donate to a fundraiser for the little girl.
Bobby and Suzie Cox own both businesses, and Adam Wright, the father of 5-year-old Giselle "Belly" Wright, has worked at the body shop for years. The couples have been friends for 25 years.
"Within minutes, we were like, 'Why aren't we actually doing this?'" recalls Molly Garner, a bakery assistant.
"We could totally make a little can like we see around in the stores," added her coworker Tiffany Johnson. "She loves 'Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,' so we came up with a theme of Mickey Mouse treats."
Cox liked the idea, and they decided to not only have a collection jar but to make all sorts of Mickey Mouse desserts and donate 20 percent of the proceeds to Giselle's family.
"We're just trying to help meet a need," Cox said. "We're trying to raise money to help them out with expenses that the insurance might not cover — the little things."
The fundraiser officially began last Wednesday and will continue through the end of February. There is also a gofundme account at www.gofundme.com/giselle-omari-wright.
"So far, we're doing sugar cookies, we're doing Rice Krispies Treats, we'll do some cupcakes, some cake pops," Cox said. "We're still coming up with different ideas."
Giselle, a kindergartner at Barnes Butte Elementary, was diagnosed with progressive myoclonic epilepsy, a rare genetic mutation that will shorten her life. There is no cure. The syndrome causes seizures and progressive neurological decline.
To extend her life out as much as possible, she is on an expensive, very stringent ketogenic diet. The family faces many other expenses, such as trips to Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland and special medical equipment expenses the family has to plan for.
Haley Wright-Buss, Giselle's older sister who also works at Prineville Body and Paint, said Giselle began showing signs of the genetic disorder when she was 2 years old.
"She is unable to speak but still laughs, smiles and shares sorrow if anyone cries around her, including the cartoon characters," Wright-Buss said. "She loves Mickey Mouse and enjoys watching the 'Mickey Mouse Clubhouse' cartoon."
Up until just recently, Giselle was wheelchair bound and couldn't hold her head up. It was like she was reversing back to a baby, Wright-Buss said. But, after beginning her new diet a month ago, she is able to function and even walk with assistance.
"Before she got sick, she was always such a happy baby. She was always smiling. She never seemed to cry. She's such a strong little girl," Cox said. "She's just a sweetheart."
Wright-Buss says her little sister is stronger than she is.
"She gets glue in her hair for the EEG testing and all of the other difficult medical procedures and she doesn't cry," she said. "She's a major love-bug."
Giselle's mother, Taira Wright, said, "It's so thoughtful of them to think of doing something special for our daughter like this. I'm just so thankful."